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Racing Insights, 6th November, 2021

The Trainer/Jockey Combo Stats (TJC) report is Saturday's offering and it brings together the form of trainers and jockeys into a single composite report that has produced excellent results for users. Quite simply, some trainers turn to specific riders when they have one ‘ready to win’. This report quickly identifies the most profitable combinations.

Clicking on any row will reveal the entries for that trainer/jockey pairing. And clicking on the entry will open the race in a new tab.

HINT: Look for a good sample size – ideally five or more – combined with a decent win percentage (30%+), and a positive figure in the profit column.

In addition to this excellent report, we also have the following 'free' races...

  • 12.15 Naas
  • 2.40 Doncaster
  • 3.20 Aintree
  • 3.28 Chelmsford
  • 4.00 Chelmsford
  • 5.30 Chelmsford

Based on my parameters for my TJC report , I've only one handicap possible for tomorrow...

...and with that being a 23-runner contest, I think I'll leave it well alone and refer back to the free race list.

Naas doesn't really interest me and the Doncaster race is the one featuring Alright Sunshine, which leaves us with a Class 2 contest over the jumps at Liverpool and classes 2, 4 and 6 at Chelmo. The NH race has just six runners, but the Chelmsford Class 2 has only four, so we're off hurdling in the North West and a competitive-looking 6-runner, Class 2, handicap hurdle for 4yo+ horses over 2.5 miles on good to soft ground. The top prize is a shade over £20,800 and it appears on the fixture list as the 3.20 Aintree...

Lisnagar Oscar and If The Cap Fits are both winless in their last five starts, but the other four are 10 from 20 between them. Martello Sky has won four of his last five but now steps up from Class 3, whilst his five rivals all ran at Class 1 (3 x Gr1, 1 x Gr2 and a Gr 3) LTO. All six have won at today's trip, If The Cap fits has also won here at Aintree over 3m½f, whilst both Wilde About Oscar and Summerville Boy are former course and distance winners.

All bar Martello Boy, who won three weeks ago, have been off the track for at least 7 months (10 for Summerville Boy) and the assessor rates the first five on the card as being within just 6lbs of each other, whilst the Geegeez SR figures also suggest this might be tight. The Skeltons (Wilde About Oscar) seem to be the pick of the bunch on course form with Brewin'upastorm leading the way on recent trainer and jockey form.

Brewin'upastorm bears top weight conceding at least 4lbs to the field, but has won four of eight starts in just over two years and is two from three over hurdles this year, having won a C2 hcp and a grade 2 race, both over 2m3½f before ending last term with an 8 length defeat here at Aintree over 2m4½f in a Grade 1 contest. That was a really decent effort and he's down back down in class, his yard & jockey are in decent nick and he should go well again here.

Wilde About Oscar has won four of six over hurdles to date, scoring in back to back C4 Novice events (inc one over C&D) this time last year before going on to land a Listed race and a C2 handicap in the spring. He struggled on his final run of the season, though, when 19th of 22, beaten by 49 lengths here at Aintree over 2m4½f seven months ago. This is easier, of course, but he's 2lbs higher than his last win which only came by three quarters of a length.

If The Cap Fits had a brief dalliance with fences last winter finishing 1232 at trips ranging from 2m5f to 3m4½f, but either side of those races, he has 8 wins and 2 places from 15 starts in bumpers/hurdle contests, winning 6 of 12 over these smaller obstacles, including a Gr 1 success on this very track. Was well beaten in two stayers hurdles at the end of last season, but the drop back in trip should help, he'll like the underfoot conditions and gets on well with his rider.

Lisnagar Oscar is probably the weakest in the field in terms of wins, having won just 3 of 18 starts so far, but he did win the Grade 1 Stayers' Hurdle at last year's Cheltenham Festival (Summerville Boy was fifth, six lengths back). defeats of 15 and 22 lengths followed that, though, before he was second in a soft ground Haydock Gr2 race beaten by just 0.75 lengths. Since then he has fallen at Cheltenham and been beaten here by 14 lengths. He has work to do here and I'm not sure the trip suits him either with 14 of his 18 starts being at 2m7½f to 3m1f.

Summerville Boy won this race last year off the same mark as today and although beaten in his three starts since, they were all at Gr2. That said, he's a dual Gr1 winner including the 2018 Cheltenham Festival Supreme Novice Hurdle and will look to start this season better than how he ended the last. He'll be happier if the expected rain materialises, as his best form is on soft/heavy ground, whilst the small field and his layoff are positives too : he goes well first up and should be a player here.

Martello Sky comes here with the best set of results showing 2 wins and a place from four bumpers and 4 wins from 5 over hurdles. The blot on her hurdles record was a 15 length defeat as 8th of 15 in the Gr2 Dawn Run Mares Novice Hurdle at this year's Cheltenham festival, but she did land a Listed race back at Chelts four weeks later and returned to action after a nine month break to win on handicap debut at Market Rasen three weeks ago. She's up a class and 9lbs for that win, but still gets weight all round. This would be a big step up for her, though and others might be better suited, but she does come from a yard with a great record at middle distances...

Six decent competitors here and whilst I wouldn't want to rule any of them out right now, I think that Martello Sky might not yet be at the level of the others and that Lisnagar Oscar might be weaker still, but we should examine their records under expected conditions first...

Such is the quality of this field under expected conditions, that Instant Expert doesn't highlight a winner or potential winner for us, but it does cast another shadow over the chances of Lisnagar Oscar. He's going to need to produce something special to win here, I think and our pace data tells us that...

...he's quite likely to try and do that from the front of the small field, but with the first four on that chart all having three paces scores of 3 or higher in their last four runs, the suggestion is that it might develop into a bit of a battle. That said, it has paid to be up with the pace in similar events here in the past, as seen below...

As you can see, I've slightly expanded the trip, going and field size parameters to give me more data to work with, but the inference here is that leaders win most often with prominent/mid-div runners filling the frame.

Summary

The fly in the ointment re: pace data is Brewin'upastorm. He's a far better runner than a Class 2 handicapper, has a good season last time around and his yard and jockey are both firing right now. I'd not be surprised if he isn't kept handier here and despite where he is on the pace chart, I want him in my final three, based on horse/trainer/jockey form, if nothing else.

I don't like Lisnagar Oscar's chances here for several reasons, so he's one of the three I'll discard here, which means I've two to pick and two to leave from four, starting with Summerville Boy. He won this race last year off the same mark, is a dual gr1 winner and goes well fresh, so he's definitely in.

Wilde About Oscar ended last season poorly and is now 2lbs higher than a win by just three parts of a length, so that's hardly promising. If The Cap Fits has a superb record over hurdles, but has been plying his trade at longer distances and might find this a little sharp late on, especially if he's towards the rear. Martello Sky might not quite be ready for this level of race, but she's in terrific form right now, gets weight all round and has the benefit of a recent run. Most of her wins might be at lower grades, but winning is a habit, of course.

That brings me to an alphabetical 1-2-3 of Brewin'upastorm, Martello Storm and Summerville Boy. I've already said that Martello Storm probably isn't quite there yet, so she's the one to miss out, but could still make the frame if one of the others falters and at 8/1, might be an E/W tempter for some.

As for my 1-2, I don't have much between them, but Summerville Boy won this last year, his pace profile is more positive and at 7/2 offers more value, so its Summerville Boy / Brewin'upastorm / Martello Storm for me.

 

 

 

Racing Insights, 8th April 2021

Ah, the perils of early season Flat racing! Not a lot went right for me at Catterick earlier, although in some form of hollow victory, I did say that Suwaan would finish third! It's probably best to put that one behind me and move on to Thursday, whose 'feature of the day' is full access to Instant Expert for all readers for all races, including our selected 'races of the day', which are...

  • 2.50 Aintree
  • 3.40 Taunton
  • 4.00 Gowran Park
  • 5.30 Taunton
  • 7.20 Chelmsford

And I think I'll do the feature/race of the day combo again, using the first of our races above, the 2.50 Aintree, which is the Grade 1 Betway Bowl Chase for 5yo+ runners over 3m1f on Good to Soft ground. The winner will receive just over £84k and will be one of the these nine geldings...

A very open looking contest in which Native River heads the Geegeez ratings, is best in at the weights and is the only previous course and distance winner in the field. Clondaw Castle brings the best set of recent results into the race* and alongside Tiger Roll is one of two last time out winners. More than half the field are aged 10 or 11, but I don't think age will be a factor here.
(* form numbers are only relevant when put into context)

As they all carry the same weight here, we'll look at them alphabetically, starting with Aso who is quite disadvantaged at the weights being second worst off and was beaten by 52 lengths when 8th in the Cheltenham Gold Cup just over three weeks ago. It's fair to say he's not the same horse as finished in the places in two Ryanair Chases and hasn't won a race since New Year's Day 2019, as his jumping has started to let him down. I suspect he'll be nearer the back than the front here.

Clan des Obeaux, on the other hand, is likely to be quite popular here and will probably go off as favourite. He won the King George in back to back years (2018/19) and has med the frame in all three runs this season (Betfair/King George/Denman chases), but hasn't quite recaptured the heights he was hitting a year or so ago. He's certain to give it his best shot, but he might not get it all his own way and has looked weak in the finish at times.

Clondaw Castle brings the best set of results to the table with finishes of 121321 since the start of 2020 and both his yard and jockey are in good form, but his own results need closer analysis, as his wins were at Class 2 (twice) and a Grade 3 last time out when 2 lengths clear in the Close Brothers Handicap Chase. The other three runs (232) in that six-race sequence were all at Grade 2, so he's still got improvement to make if he's going to feature here, but has a chance of making the frame, I think.

Militarian is a respectable Class 3 handicapper (3 wins from 4) and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but he has failed to win any of nine attempts at a higher grade, making the frame just once and I think he'll be outclassed here. He's worst off at the weights and he'd be my idea of last one home, if he completes the course.

Mister Fisher is a useful chaser who is 2 from 2 in Grade 2 contests, including landing the Peterborough at Cheltenham two weeks before Christmas, where he had to tough it off to see off some decent sorts like Kalashnikov and the afore-mentioned Clondaw Castle (he's 3lbs better off than CC here too). His jumping wasn't quite at it last time out, but ran well for a long way in the Ryanair at HQ before pulling up 2 out. Not an obvious winner here, but holds serious place chances.

Native River is tough and doesn't know when he's beaten. He was imperious with some bold jumping when landing the Gr2 Cotswold Chase in early February and showed his grit when fourth in the Gold Cup last time out. He had to dig deep that day from a long way out, but stayed on resolutely, as tends to be his trademark. This is no pushover of a race, but it looks a little easier on paper and I suspect he'll be better than fourth here in favourable conditions.

Real Steel won a Grade 1 and two Grade 2 races in Ireland between May 2019 and January 2020, but seems to lack stamina over these longer trips. Since that last win at Thurles, he has failed to complete two of his four starts and was 6th of 12 and 3rd of 4 in the others. He has ability, but a shorter trip Grade 2 race would probably have suited him better.

Tiger Roll won the National here in 2018 and 2019 but swerves this year's contest on weight. He regained his form by winning the Glenfarclas Cross Country at Cheltenham by 18 lengths last month, but had struggled in three outings between the 2020 and 2021 runnings of that race. There's absolutely no disputing the quality of this horse, but I do wonder in 3m1f isn't a little sharp for him nowadays and he's only 1 from 8 at 2m6f to 3m5f.

Waiting Patiently is a proven Grade 1 runner, but just doesn't win often enough. He won on his first crack at this level, when landing the Ascot Chase a little over three years ago and has raced exclusively in Grade 1 chases since, finishing U23323. The unseat wasn't really his fault in fairness, but despite his solid consistency does seem to always run into one (or two) just slightly better and my other concern is that 13 of his 15 career starts have been over 2m5.5f or shorter.

Today's 'feature of the day' is, of course, Instant Expert and these horses have won 73 races between them, so I'm expecting a lot of green on the charts, starting with overall career records...

Native River is the obvious standout there, proven at class and trip off a decent sample size and he clearly likes Aintree. Plenty of others have decent profiles for this race with only Aso and Real Steel looking like they might struggle.

We can then filter the above to just include their records over fences as follows...

...which, if anything, seems to improve Native River's percentages, but also keeps plenty in the hunt if looking at it from a purely statistical viewpoint.

I did say it was an open looking contest though, so let's try and work out how we think things might unfold. Most runners have had three or more outings this season, so I've set the pace analysis to last three runs, I've opened up the number of runners slightly to get a more workable/reliable sample size and as the ground is good in places, I've done the same there for the same reasons and if they go as we predict they will, then...

Native River might well attempt to set the pace of the contest and if allowed to do so, will be difficult to beat late on as he seems to stay forever. Tiger Roll is likley to be up there too, but the trip is probably too short for him. The bottom four on the graphic are probably in most danger, as this sort of race doesn't really lend itself well to horses who are held up.

Summary

Based on the pace graphic above, I'm happy to consider discarding Aso, Real Steel, Militarian and Waiting Patiently. Aso and Real Steel were negatives on Instant Expert for me and I think my write-ups were dismissive of all four's chances of winning here, so they're all gone.

That leaves us with five, of course and still too many to take forward to the final decision process. Tiger Roll is rapidly becoming (if he isn't already) an Aintree legend, but all good runs come to an end (even Bolton lost at Newport on Monday!) and I think his past few runs over shorter trips have highlighted a chink in his armour and I'm omitting him on trip here.

So to the final four and this bit is a bit easier for me, as I like Native River for this quite a bit more than I like any of the others and he's currently 6/1 in places, which might be a tad generous. Of the remaining three, there's probably not much to choose between Mister Fisher and Clondaw Castle at 8/1 and 15/2 respectively, but the former did beat the latter in December and is now effectively 3lbs better off, so I'll keep those two in that order.

That leaves me with Clan des Obeaux to consider and I think he beats the above pair into second place. He'll try to give native river a run for his money late on, but he doesn't finish as strongly in my opinion.

So, hopefully, it's Native River / Clan des Obeaux / Mister Fisher / Clondaw Castle.